I love this time of year! The air is crisp and fresh, flowers are almost in bloom and so is the social season, ready to support our community’s charitable causes.
My passion, The Blacks’ Annual Gala benefiting at-risk youth, is coming up on March 24. What promises to be an incredible event—Queen Latifah and Tony Bennett will be performing—the gala will raise awareness and funds for a very special cause. The Consequences Foundation benefits Teach for America Miami-Dade and the Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department. These organizations give kids in need a second chance by providing transformational learning experiences, educational resources and services focused on keeping youth in school and out of jail.
Part of the proceeds raised from the gala will fund the development of a national learning tool, created to help at-risk teens maximize their educational opportunities. Another portion of the funds will help sustain our after school activities, camps and learning experiences for kids working with Juvenile Services, as well as scholarships, art and music programs, life skills classes, workshops and career development training to help teens become self-sufficient.
The Consequences Foundation will launch its newest educational platform, a curriculum educating kids on the consequences of their actions. The curriculum, co-founded by Engin Yesil, now comes in video form. Easy to access by teens and their families, the video is a great motivator to get teens on track towards a productive future.
Each year, I am humbled and amazed at the level of contribution from individual donors, philanthropists and socially-responsible companies who attend, pledge their support and contribute much-needed funds and products to the gala. They are the true heroes in the fight to give every child a well-deserved chance at a better life. Through their kind donations, our supporters make the gala a one-of-a-kind experience. I am honored to call them my co-workers, donors and friends.
This spring, while you’re making plans to revitalize and renew, I urge you all to consider becoming patrons of the companies that support our local charities. Year after year they prove their value, making every spring more beautiful by helping those in great need.
I also encourage you to plant your garden of good deeds and tend to it with great care, and may your efforts blossom into something that makes a difference in the lives of others. As a friend of mine once said, “Let people have their flowers in their lifetime.”
GREY GOOSE CLASSIC MARTINI
I’m excited to announce that Grey Goose will be pouring at The Blacks’ Annual Gala this year. Follow this easy recipe to get the timeless taste in your glass. Cheers!
GREY GOOSE Original 2 Parts
NOILLY PRAT Original French Dry Vermouth ½ Parts
Orange Bitters 1 Dash
Fill a shaker with ice.
Add NOILLY PRAT Original French Dry Vermouth.
Stir to coat ice and strain out.
Add GREY GOOSE Vodka and bitters, if desired, and stir well.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Present with an olive or lemon twist.
THE PALMS HOTEL & SPA
When I want to relax and unwind, I love to go to The Palms Hotel & Spa. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, the hotel is a sophisticated yet casual gem. Situated minutes from South Beach, the hotel features a fabulous outdoor restaurant and lounge called Essensia, which serves seasonally-inspired global fare. Great for a weekend or even a day experience, a 5000-square-foot Aveda Spa offers an array of services for individuals and couples alike, including access to a tropical garden and pool and beach areas. For information and reservations, visit www.thepalmshotel. com or call 305-980-5460.
EMILIO ROBBA, INTERNATIONAL FLOWER SCULPTOR
Trained at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Emilio Robba is an internationally acclaimed designer who works with leading hotels, architects, interior designers and cruise lines to create a collection of floral sculptures that is unparalleled. A dedicated supporter of The Blacks’ Annual Gala each year, his extraordinary visions can light up any event you’re hosting, not to mention every room in your home. Shop Emilio Robba’s creations for the perfect accessory or floralscape created with natural materials that transcend design. Start spring right by visiting www.emiliorobba.com or calling 305-572-0203.
Chef David Holtquist and event planner extraordinaire John Rossetti formed 2Taste Catering to bring every option imaginable to the gourmand or individual wanting a unique catering experience. 2Taste has won national acclaim as “Caterer of the Year” for their creativity, presentation and quality. A stellar event planner and partner, 2Taste is the go-to group for all things fabulous. Visit their site at www. twotasteevents.com or call 305-899-9117.